"the pinnacle of human expression and achievement"

Kindness is our humanity. The collective practice and accomplishment of this central life force defines the status and direction of our species.

As the ultimate voice of and gift from our soul, Kindness communicates, gives meaning to, and transforms into action our love, our compassion, and our determination to improve the lives of others.

As the mystical inspiration for our creativity, Kindness guides our educational, scientific, and public welfare efforts.

Like an energy force, Kindness animates and enriches that which is best about us. Kindness is what makes us great. Kindness gives sensation to and progress toward our reach for holiness.

What can be achieved without Kindness? Hate, war, abuse, prejudice, arrogance, lies, belittlement, ethics rejection, disregard, greed, subjugating power, and human abandonment epitomize the degradative answers to this question.

In empowering and evolutional contrast, Kindness improves us. Kindness compels us to help and respect others; by doing so, we prosper and widen our horizons.

Trust supplies a foundation for Kindness ... and for humanity. Accordingly, trust must be savored and nurtured.

While there seems to be too little Kindness, resources about Kindness abound. For example, Sharon Salzberg wrote a marvelous book entitled 'The Force of Kindness'.

Sharon writes,

"It is easy to overlook the power of kindness, or misunderstand it. Those around us may devalue our dedication to kindness. We may devalue it ourselves. But if we can commit to the open-hearted exploration of kindness, it will reveal itself as a force that can change our lives.

Kindness is compassion in action. It is a way of taking the vital human emotions into a real-life confrontation with ruthlessness, abandonment, thoughtlessness, loneliness - all the myriad ways, every single day, we find ourselves suffering or witnessing suffering in others.

Kindness is the fuel that helps us truly "walk our talk" of love, a quality so easy to speak about or extol but often so hard to make real. Kindness is the foundation of unselfconscious generosity, natural inclusivity, and unfeigned integrity.

When we really examine kindness we find it is a deep and abiding understanding of how connected we all are. We see that kindness inspires a sense of ethics independent of any religious adherence, which can guide our families, communities, and the world we live in towards realizing greater safety and peace.

Kindness points to the core of what it means to be alive, which is to be connected.

It is someone's kindness that essentially affirms us, that conveys a sense of the wholeness they glimpse in us, a wholeness that we ourseles might barely realize.

The psychological root that empowers a natural sense of morality is the compassion that comes from empathy. Through the quality of empathy we understand that suffering hurts others in just the same way that it hurts us. This ability is what gives us an organic, straightforward sense of conscience.

If others are seen as objects, rather than feeling beings, it becomes quite easy to harm them, even in awful ways. And once someone appears to us primarily as an object, kindness has no place to root.

The Buddha said that within this fathom-long body lies the entire universe. If we can understand our own experience and connect to it, we can connect to all of life, to the whole universe.

A dedication to kindness offers us a chance to make a real difference despite the obstacles and unhappiness we might face. No matter what our belief system, actions, status, we are joined together in this world through strands of relationship, interconnection.

A friend of mine, at the end of a retreat, offered a provocative reflection that intrigued and inspired me. After looking intensively at her inner experience for nine days of meditation and seeing many of her life choices in brand new light, she commented, "If you really want to be a rebel, practice kindness."

There could be many wonderful extrapolations: "If you really want to be outrageous, be ethical." "If you want to go against the grain, be kindhearted." "If you want to live on your own terms, breaking out from expectations and external demands, practice love." "To be free, to be different, to be bold, be compassionate."

There is no way to lash out at someone physically or verbally, to belittle their achievements, to exploit them in some way, to consider them unworthy of hearing the truth, and emerge undamaged ourselves. We are capable of so much more, and we dishonor that potential when we don't live with integrity.

The practices of kindness inspire and deepen our connections to ourselves, and to one another. They provide a path for health, for healing, for wholeness.

As we wish love, peace, and happiness for ourselves and others, we learn to include all beings and all aspects of life, including ourselves, in our hearts.

In doing these practices, in turning our lives toward the force of kindness, in nurturing the potential for love and compassion within, may we all find the ultimate healing truth of connection."

everyone is everyone

our lives are streams flowing into the same river

(The Bucket List) is a mission to reflect upon true happiness and to communicate the vital nature and purpose of our existence and our profound potential to enlighten and to alleviate suffering

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